Bay State College

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Bay State College
Bay State College logo.png
TypePrivate for-profit college
Established1946; 76 years ago (1946)
Students691 (2021)[1]
Location, ,
United States
ColorsRed and White

Bay State College (Bay State or BSC) is a private for-profit college[2] in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is owned by Ambow Education Holding Ltd. of the Cayman Islands and Beijing, People's Republic of China.[3]Bay State College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Founded in 1946, Bay State College specializes in career-focused programs, specifically in business, information technology and healthcare. The college offers Associate's and Bachelor's degree programs.[4]

Bay State College has three divisions: Day, Evening and Online. It has an additional campus in Taunton, Massachusetts.[5]


Bay State College opened in 1946 to serve the airline industry by providing "hands-on skills and paying particular attention to a strong educational foundation." One of its founders, George J. Brennan, was a Marine fighter pilot in World War II.[6]The original location was at 70 State Street in Boston.[7]

Bay State moved to Back Bay in 1961.[7]

Bay State College, Boston MA. The campus was sold in 2017.

In 1975, Bay State College was initially authorized to grant Associate's degrees by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Pfannenstiel Family (1988-2017)[edit]

In 1988, the original owners sold the school to Thomas E. Langford and Frederick G. Pfannenstiehl. [8] Pfannenstiehl was president and owner of Educor Inc. and president of Burdett College as well as Bay State College.[9]The Pfannenstiehl family also owned Harrison College in Indiana. [10]

In 1989, Bay State became accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE, formerly NEASC).

In 2004, Bay State College was authorized by the state and NECHE to grant Bachelor's degrees in Business, Fashion, and Entertainment Management.[7]

From 2007 to 2012, enrollment increased from 354 students to a peak of 1721 students. Enrollment dropped from 1721 students in 2012 to 609 students in 2019. In 2020, enrollment rose to 691 students.

In 2013, BSC relocated its Middleboro campus to Taunton, Massachusetts.[11]

In March 2017, Bay State College sold its 260-262 Commonwealth Ave property for $14 million.[12]

Bay State College as a subsidiary of Ambow Education Holding (2017-present)[edit]

On September 29, 2017, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges approved the sale of Bay State College to Ambow Education Holding Ltd.[13] Ambow acquired the school with a $6 million loan from Sino Accord Investments Limited.[14]

In 2019, BSC moved its offices to 31 St. James Avenue in the Park Square Building. In the same year, BSC settled with the Massachusetts Attorney General for $1.1 million over allegations it was using false claims in their marketing and failing to comply with the state’s for-profit college regulations.[15]

In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, Anbow Education and Bay State College received a $1.47 million federal PPP loan through the Bank of America and an additional $794,000 in CARES Act-HEERF funding.[16][17]Bay State College also began working with Cisco to provide contact tracing. According to BSC, "faculty, staff, and students were each issued a lanyard and a badge holder containing a Bluetooth® Low-Energy (BLE) beacon, which they were required to wear visibly at all times while on campus."[18][19]

In 2021, the Small Business Administration fully forgave the outstanding principal of the PPP loan.[20]


Bay State College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE, formerly NEASC). The college is authorized to award the following degrees by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Bachelor's of Science.[13]

Bay State College's Associate of Science program in Physical Therapist Assistant is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).[13] Its Associate of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.[13]

In April 2021, BSC's accreditor voted to ask the school to "show cause why the College should not be placed on probation or have its accreditation withdrawn." NECHE "expressed concern about the College’s ability to implement its plans to increase enrollment, enhance financial stability, and assure the sufficiency of appropriately qualified faculty and staff. The Commission further noted the lack of robust systems to evaluate educational effectiveness and to use data for planning and institutional improvement." A show cause hearing was scheduled for November 2021. [21] In November 2021, the Commission deferred its decision until April 2022. [22] At its meeting on April 21, 2022, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) voted to place Bay State College on probation for a period not to exceed four years because the Commission found that the College is not meeting the Commission’s Standards on Institutional Resources and Organization and Governance, specifically that the institution did not demonstrate that its resources are sufficient to sustain the quality of its educational programs and to support institutional improvement now and in the foreseeable future and that it has an effective system of governance and sufficient administrative capacity. Institutions placed on probation remain accredited and eligible for federal funding, including student aid.[23]


According to the US Department of Education's College Navigator, BSC has 16 full-time instructors and 83 part-time instructors.[24]


In 2020, Bay State College had $6 million in assets and $4.1 million in liabilities. [25] While Bay State College has had financial deficits, it has been cutting costs to narrow those deficits, from $4.1 million in 2020 to a preliminary 2021 deficit of approximately $1.7 million. Its parent company, Ambow Education, provides additional funding when needed. [26]


In 2018, Bay State College was the first college in Massachusetts to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports.[27] The current esports team competes in Call of Duty, League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Madden.[28][29] In 2022, the Super Smash contingent won the NACE National Championship over the University of Texas Austin.

Student outcomes[edit]

Bay State College's overall graduation rate is 18 percent, with a transfer out rate of 24 percent.[30] According to the College Scorecard, median student loan debt is $25,813.[31]The nursing program has an average NCLEX-RN pass rate of 80.9 percent.[32]

Ambow Education Holding Ltd.[edit]

Ambow Education Holding Ltd is a Cayman Islands and China-based corporation that also owns NewSchool of Architecture and Design. According to Ambow Education's financial reports, the People's Republic of China (PRC) government "exerts substantial influence" over their business.[33]

Ambow liquidated its assets in 2013 and reorganized the company.[34][35]

Ambow is also involved with Global Career Quality Assurance to make college credits more transferable in cross-border career education.[36]

Ambow Education claims to have a number of US patents, including patents related to artificial intelligence and holographic technology.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bay State College". US Department of Education. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Governance".
  3. ^ "Chinese company adds US college to higher-ed portfolio". China Daily. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Bay State College Programs". Bay State College. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  5. ^ "Bay State College to Open New Campus in Taunton". Bay State College. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  6. ^ "Bay State College founder, George J. Brennan, Jr. passes away at the age of 93". Bay State College. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Bay State College History and Mission". Bay State College. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  8. ^ "Back Bay Houses:Genealogies of Back Bay Houses". Back Bay Houses. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Alumni Profile – Frederick G. Pfannenstiehl '59". RiversNet. 3 September 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  10. ^ "PFANNENSTIEHL v. PFANNENSTIEHL". Find Law. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Bay State College to Open New Campus in Taunton". Bay State College. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  12. ^ Harris, David L. "Developer to convert Bay State College property into luxury condos". Biz Journals. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ a b c d "Bay State College Accreditation". Bay State College. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  14. ^ "20-F". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  15. ^ Solis, Steph (27 December 2019). "Bay State College pays $1.1 million settlement following allegations it misled students". Mass Live. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  16. ^ "PPP Loan Data — Bay State College Inc, Boston, MA".
  17. ^ "HEERF Funds from the CARES Act". Bay State College. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  18. ^ Hudson, Andrew (18 December 2020). "Bay State College uses HID Bluetooth beacons to support contact tracing". Campus News. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Bay State College Helping students return safely to on-campus learning with automated contact tracing". Cisco. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  20. ^ "20-F". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  21. ^ (PDF). New England Commission of Higher Education and Bay State College Retrieved 7 May 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "JOINT STATEMENT New England Commission of Higher Education and Bay State College" (PDF). New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  23. ^ "Joint Statement New England Commission of Higher Education and Bay State College" (PDF). June 1, 2022. Retrieved June 3, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Bay State College". US Department of Education. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  26. ^ "Bay State College – FY20 Financial Statement Summary" (PDF). Bay State College. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  27. ^ "Bay State College Becomes First Massachusetts Institution to Join National Association of Collegiate Esports". Bay State College. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  28. ^ "The Bay State College Call of Duty "God Squad"". Efuse. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  29. ^ "NACE Starleague Spring 2022 Season Recap". CSLE Sports. 28 April 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  30. ^ "Bay State College". US Department of Education. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  31. ^ "Bay State College". US Department of Education. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Nursing Schools in Massachusetts". Nursing Explorer. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  33. ^ "Form 20-F". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  34. ^ Miller, Matthew; Aldred, Stephen (18 June 2013). "Ambow setback teaches Baring a lesson in China investing". Reuters. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  35. ^ "Ambow Completes Reverse Stock Split". PR Newswire. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  36. ^ "CORRECTION - Ambow Education Partners with GCQA to Establish Credit Recognition Alliance among U.S. and Chinese Colleges". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  37. ^ "Ambow Education Obtains National Patent for AI Panorama Digital Teaching System". PR Newswire. Retrieved 12 May 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′08″N 71°04′38″W / 42.3521°N 71.0771°W / 42.3521; -71.0771